Erwin Poile's Dairy

Picture Submitted by David L. Cole

The Poiles emigrated from Kent, England, in the early 1800's  They settled in Westmoreland, and Erwin Poile's father, William H. Poile came from England as a lad with his father William H. Poile.  William (the son) married Alcesta Hutchinson, and was employed as a toll taker on the Westmoreland, (mid-1800 U.S. Census entry).  William and Alcesta Hutchinson Poile had three sons Norris Poile, Erwin G. Poile, and Fred Poile.  When Alcesta died bearing Fred, William had to adopt Fred out to the Utter Family, and Norris to John and Eliza Hutchinson.  They kept their adopted names to the time of their deaths.  The Hutchinsons and Utters were related by marriage to the Poile Family.  Erwin grew up and went to Rome Business Institute.  He worked as an office manager for a firm in Rome.  He married Mary Louise Cronk in 1905.  She was descended from Hiram Cronk, the last surviving veteran of the War of 1812.  He died in 1904 around Ava.  Gramp Erwin wanted what he envisioned as a healthier place to live than the city. He bought a 100 acre homestead in Stanwix Heights, built a home, a barn, and other outbuildings.  He moved his family out there in 1915, and began a dairy business.  When he first started he developed a milk route which he ran with a team and wagon.  He later upgraded to a model T, but said he still needed the team to drag the model T around with until the wheels began to turn on winter days.  Erwin developed a method of raising the butterfat content of cow's milk which was much in demand for baby milk in Rome.  I know this truck replaced the model T, and was fairly new.  I take it to be in the early 30's, but have no idea the make or model,  Maybe some of the older folks can identify it.  This picture was taken somewhere in Rome at the time,  while running his milk route with real glass bottles!  Before that it was ladled out by measure into the customers jar or bucket at their front door.  Like other dairy farms of the time, his clientele was absorbed by the co-op.   His family farm is still holding on today out on Bartlett Rd.  It has been managed by his son Erwin Jr. for quite a few years now, but from its appearance now has seen much better times.  The close of this century may well see the disappearance of the last Mom and Pop family farm in an area where in a bygone time they were plentiful.  There are a number
of Poiles still around the Rome area, and an Utter family lives almost in from of the Poile farm in Stanwix.  Maybe there are some older Romans who, when hearing the Poile name, will remember Erwin's dairy of long ago, and smile!  Erwin was my maternal Grandfather and a fine old gentlemen.  He passed away at the Stonehedge nursing home in Rome at age 90 on Apr. 30, 1974.  He was predeceased by his wife Mary, who passed away in Rome on Apr. 4, 1952.  My family and I were up to visit in Rome in 1973, and he passed away about a yr. later.

L to R sitting:
Erwin George Poile Sr. b. Westmoreland Mar. 10, 1884-died Rome Apr. 30, 1974. Life member Stanwix Heights Vol. Fire Dept., and played baseball on the Town team, Georgianna Poile Zimmerman, lives with husband Glenn in Arizona, Mary Poile Holmes, b. 1916, lives in Ononadaga Co., my Mom, Laura Poile Cole, b. 1913 is living in Miss., Mary Cronk Poile was a rural school teacher, b. Lee Center Dec. 6, 1884-died April 4, 1952 in Rome.  Standing L to R are Florence Poile Petrie, b. May 27, 1909-died Dec. 25, 1979, and Muriel Grace Poile b. 1910-died May 4, 1997.  Worked as nurse and then nursing supervisor for 29 yrs. altogether in Rome State School.  Died in Rome.  Missing from photo are Stewart Poile b. 1906-died 1909, Genevieve Poile Allen Patterson, b.1923-died Sept. 10, 1987 in S.C., and Erwin G. Poile Jr. (Sonny) b. 1925 who still operates the farmstead at Stanwix Heights with the help of his son Wesley.   Many of the children were born on the farm.  This photo would have been taken around 1919, and was taken by a photography studio in Rome.

Copyright©1998, 1999 David L. Cole